Engr. ( Dr) MOSHOOD KOLA BALOGUN,
Chairman Momass Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited ( MEMMCOL),in this interview with Premium News’s Mohammed Shosanya,speaks on topical issues in the nation’s power sector,especially the lingering metering challenges there in,and discloses his company’s giant strides in improving Nigeria’s power sector.
What are the achievements of MEMMCOL within the last 10 years of post-privatization of the power sector?
Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) is the leading manufacturer in the downstream of the Power sector. We are duly recognized and certified as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in the power sector in Nigeria.
We have demonstrated passion, commitment, patriotism, and professionalism through innovations that are at par with best-known global practices; with notable inventions like the prepaid energy meters, vending/billing management applications and support services, Meter boxes of all kinds, single and three phase Din Rail smart electricity meters, dual tariff electricity meters, Distribution Substation Enhancement Concept for both 11kva and 33kva power sub-stations and establishment of the Momas Metering School (MMS); the first of its kind in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa.
i. Meter Deployment Under CAPMI 250,000 Meters
ii. Meters Deployment under MAP: 120,000
iii. Meter Deployment under National Mass Metering Programme: 160,000 Meters
How has your organization contributed to job creation and what was your staff strength between 2011 – 2013?
Momas is a pacesetter in the downstream of the power sector. We are responsible for some of the notable inventions in the sector ranging from the invention of a software billing application system for the electricity distribution companies, the invention of a management application system, the invention of a dual tariff energy meter, the invention of the distribution substation enhancement concept for both 11 kva and 33 kva, respectively.
We also invented energy meter enclosures and the invention of three-phase Dim Rail meter.
All these innovative products came with a lot of research and development, training, and re-training; as such we invested so much in manpower development and a lot of jobs were created for young Nigerians.
Our staff strength within the period was 127 workforce.
Tell us how private sector-driven meter manufacturers in Nigeria have benefited from Nigerian banks in terms of long-term, single-digit credit facilities or patient capital.
Is it possible for manufacturers to obtain financial support from development finance institutions to expand their production capacity and capability in the country?
It is a known fact that bank loans are run on double-digit interest rates which makes it difficult for manufacturers to really break even when they access bank loans. Aside from this, the distribution end of the power sector value chain is highly regulated and off-take, and prices are determined by the government.
The major scheme put in place by the regulatory agency which is the MAP scheme is a retail model and it is not suitable for manufacturing thereby affecting energy meter manufacturing growth.
On the energy meters price fixing, this is also not appropriate considering the increasing exchange rate and the fact that most of the meter components are sourced from overseas. This is making the business not to be viable anymore. This is also not allowing for competitiveness.
Equally, control of meter off-take is affecting the commercial of energy meters, sadly Nigerians are craving energy meters but because of the system in place, it is making it difficult for people to have access to energy meters.
So, with all these bottlenecks, accessing bank loans is not really useful in the sector because you can not obtain bank facilities to produce energy meters without off-take.
Over the past decade, what difficulties have arisen in accessing funds, particularly foreign exchange-dominated funds, necessary for importing raw materials, critical industrial equipment, plants, and machinery?Besides,what challenges have been faced regarding foreign exchange?
Unfortunately, we have been buying forex from the parallel market for the last 12 years because the successful governments in the country have not been concerned about the need to prioritize the provision of forex through the official window for the manufacturers.
They seem to have forgotten that the real sector is key to the development of the economy through job creation. We buy forex from the black market to procure your raw materials from abroad and after the production, we are compelled to sell at a fixed price. The meter prices were reviewed in October 2021 before the recent review that was done in September 2023.
Could you explain the importance of taxation, such as VAT, at the point of imports,transaction, and on sales as well as purchases of pre-paid meters? How has VAT affected the importation of raw materials, the production process, and the final cost of producing pre-paid meters?
Well, VAT and other tax elements are huge burdens on manufacturers especially in the power sector because the cost of doing business in the country is extremely too high because of multiple taxations from the state, local, and federal governments, coupled with the high cost of energy production which are affecting businesses profitability and this is why compliance has not been effective.
The government needs to look into all these issues, create an enabling business environment,identify genuine manufacturers, and put policies in place for growth support for the manufacturers.
Taxes, port charges, import charges, and multiple layers of charges are burden that negatively affects manufacturing businesses and trading in the metering value chain. What changes would you like to see in the tax system, particularly as regards frozen multiple charges and taxation, as well as fiscal and non-fiscal incentives in the metering and manufacturing sub-sectors, under the Tinubu administration?
Governments need to, first of all, streamline the tax structure in such a way that it will be minimal, then look into the infrastructural challenges across the country that are affecting business and address the challenge, prioritize forex availability for manufacturers at the official window, put policies in place to incentivize local manufacturers, create zero percent interest loans for manufacturers to enable production to thrive and make import duty and port charges zero for the importation of raw materials and pieces of machinery to encourage production.
This will to a great extent bring about local production, boost the economy through job creation, increase exports, and strengthen our currency.
Also, the government needs to take very seriously the distribution end of the value chain in the Power sector because it is responsible for revenue generation which guarantees cost recovery and this can only be achieved through metering and power infrastructure.
So, the government needs to support local meter manufacturers by addressing some of the challenges affecting the growth of the sector.
Another problem with the sector is the different types of energy meters in the country which is seriously affecting manufacturing and the only way through which development can be achieved in the sector which will further impact positively on the economy and other sectors of the economy is for the Federal Government to enforce the adoption of a single specification of electricity meter in the country.
This will give direction to production and it will give effect to backward integration because by so doing, the different players in the sector can then choose the convenient area of specialization on any of the components and this will make production complimentary.
In the long run, some of the components that are produced in the sector would as well be useful in other sectors of the economy and a lot of industries and jobs will be created.
On the last note, there is need for the government to liberalize metering supply in the country by removing its statutory control on meter supply and meter prices with a view to opening up the sector for easier accessibility to electricity meters by Nigerians and to give effect to the forces of demand and supply to determine the prices of meters.
This will enable manufacturers to have the freedom to sell their products at competitive prices, it will create a lot of jobs for Nigerians through dealership and retailing of electricity meters; it will guarantee cost recovery in the sector as more Nigerians will have energy meters and distribution companies too will have improved revenue to sustain the entire value chain in the power sector.
How has electricity contributed to the growth of the meters manufacturing Industry? Has it been a fair deal? Has power to the manufacturing industrial clusters been stable, reliable, and affordable?
Since we commissioned our factory 13 years ago in Ogun State, we have been running generators because power around the Lagos/Ibadan expressway is not too good for sensitive industrial activities like our factory.
This is because, in our production processes, there must not be fluctuation or power outage during the production processes. Today, the cost of diesel per litre is now N1300 and we use 33,000 litres in a month. The implication of this is that the bulk of our revenues goes into energy supply leaving us with nothing in terms of profit.
What should the government do differently to ensure grid stability and reliability in Nigeria?
Since the old NEPA was unbundled and privatized, it has not really lived up to expectations as the power situation in the country has not really improved.
As a stakeholder in the sector with over 40years of experience and having been responsible for some of the notable inventions in the sector, I am bold to say that that sector needs the government’s urgent intervention by way of setting up a committee comprising of eminent and experienced experts who are knowledgeable about the sector to appraise and review the performances of the generation,transmission and distribution companies with a view to having a proper overview of the sector and review the existing policy framework in order to reposition the sector for better performance.
According to the federal government report, the energy meter needs in the country as at 2020,was put at 10 million and this was what informed the first notable intervention in the sector by the Federal Government, tagged the National Metering Programme where CBN is mandated to provide fund for energy meter off-take from the established and recognized local energy meter manufacturer in the country.
This scheme is intended to meter Nigerians to bridge the metering gap, improve the revenue generation of the Discos, and guarantee cost recovery to be able to sustain the entire value chain in the sector, to stimulate economic growth through job creation for Nigerians, especially the youths.
This is one of the landmark achievements of Mr. President, General Muhammadu Buhari, and this must be sustained. Phase zero of the scheme has been concluded since 2021 with 1 million energy meters freely given to Nigerians.
Phase one of the scheme was stalled because of the unrealistic fixed contract prices for a contract that is expected to be completed in one year considering the increasing inflation, unstable foreign exchange, and foreign exchange accessibility to the manufacturers to be able to procure raw materials from oversea and technical specification review.
The challenges recorded on the intervention have made it necessary for all the fundamental issues militating the development downstream of the sector to be addressed .
Below are some of the valid suggestions for the country to achieve unprecedented development in the sector: Firstly, it is sad that it is only in the power sector that manufacturers are compelled to sell their products at regulated prices and we have been advocating for the liberalization of the sector by removing the statutory control on meter supply and meter prices with a view to opening up the sector for easier accessibility to electricity meters by Nigerians and to give effect to the forces of demand and supply to determine the prices of meters.
This will enable manufacturers to have the freedom to sell their products at competitive prices and it will create a lot of jobs for Nigerians through dealerships and retailing of electricity meters.
There is a need for the government to adopt a single specification for energy meters in the country as against the so many types of electricity meters we have in the country today and this is the only way through which development can be achieved in the sector as well as other sectors of the economy.
This, if done will give direction to production and will give effect to backward integration because by so doing, the different players in the sector can then choose the convenient area of specialization on any of the components and this will make production to be complimentary. In the long run, some of the components that are produced in the sector would as well be useful in other sectors of the economy and a lot of industries and jobs will be created.
It is unfortunate that despite the huge amount of investments that manufacturers have put in place in terms of technology transfer, plants, and machinery, human capital development through training and retraining, and research and development in the power sector, there are no enabling policies in place to further enhance their development and growth, and all these investments are for local capacity building which should be seen as part of nation building not to only develop the power sector but to also bring about technological advancement of the country’s economy.
This is why no assembler would desire to be an OEM manufacturer in the sector rather they would prefer to remain importers and by this, there is no way the sector can develop not to talk of the country’s economy.
The new Electricity Act is a welcome development as it will help in decentralizing the control over the power sector thereby improving power generation and supply by the IPPs owned by private individuals and governments at other levels thereby augmenting the energy supply needs of Nigerians.
However, the government needs to review the licenses of the distribution companies by appraising their performances in the last ten years of being licensed because ideally, metering is the asset of the Distribution companies as such they are mandated by their licence to provide energy meters to Nigerians but today, the responsibility has been shifted to Nigerians to pay for energy meters.
Also, the distribution companies are expected to bring liquidity into the sector to improve the power infrastructure but unfortunately, there is no such fund injection and this is one of the reasons that there are commercial and technical losses in the sector as well as arbitrary estimated billing of consumers.
What is take on investment by the Nigerian government in Super Grid and the alternative
investment in Higher Carrying Capacity of Grid Conductors (Quad Conductors)?
Investing in the development of a Super Grid or upgrading the carrying capacity of the grid conductors, such as using Quad Conductors, both have their advantages and considerations. Here is breakdown of the potential implications of each approach:
Investment in Super Grid: Advantages:
Enhanced Transmission Capacity: A Super grid typically involves the development of high-voltage transmission lines, enabling the efficient transmission of electricity over long distances. This can facilitate the transfer of large amounts of electricity across regions.
Integration of Renewable Energy: Super grids can better integrate renewable energy sources (like solar and wind) located in remote areas, allowing the energy to be transmitted to regions with higher demand. This promotes the use of clean energy and reduces reliance on fossil fuels.
Improved reliability: Super grids, if designed and managed properly, can enhance the reliability of the electricity supply by providing redundancy and backup routes in case of line failures.
Economic Development: By ensuring a stable and robust power supply, a Super grid can stimulate economic growth, attract investments, and create jobs.
High Initial Investment: Building a Super Grid requires significant initial investment in infrastructure. The government needs to weigh this cost against the long-term benefits and economic growth potential.
Land Acquisition and Environmental Concerns: Acquiring land for constructing high-voltage transmission lines can face opposition due to environmental and land-use concerns. Addressing these issues is crucial for successful implementation.
Technological Challenges: Developing and maintaining high-voltage transmission technologies necessitate expertise and ongoing investments in research and development.
Investment in Higher Carrying Capacity of Grid Conductors (Quad Conductors):Advantages:
Cost-Effectiveness: Upgrading existing infrastructure, such as using Quad Conductors, can be more cost-effective than building an entirely new Super Grid. It utilizes existing corridors and reduces the need for extensive land acquisition.
Incremental Approach: Upgrades can be implemented incrementally, allowing for phased investments based on demand and budget availability.
Quick Deployment: Compared to the time it takes to plan and construct a Super Grid, upgrading conductors can be a quicker solution to address immediate capacity needs.
Limited Long-Term Capacity: While upgrading conductors can provide a temporary solution, there is a limit to how much the carrying capacity can be increased. Eventually, a point may be reached where a more extensive upgrade or a Super Grid becomes necessary.
Technical Challenges: Upgrading conductors might require modifications to existing infrastructure and systems, which can pose technical challenges and require careful planning and execution.
Future Growth: Consideration must be given to future electricity demand. If the upgrade does not accommodate long-term growth, it might require further enhancements sooner than anticipated.
In summary, the choice between investing in a Super Grid or upgrading the carrying capacity of grid conductors depends on various factors, including budget constraints, long-term energy demands, environmental considerations, and the urgency of the capacity requirement.
Often, a combination of strategies, such as upgrading existing infrastructure while planning for future Super Grid developments, might offer a balanced and practical approach to ensuring a reliable and robust national grid network.
Additionally, conducting a thorough feasibility study and engaging experts in the field can help the government make informed decisions based on the specific needs and challenges faced in the Nigerian context.
How has your organization contributed to the closure of manpower skill gaps in the electricity meters ecosystem in terms of training of the trainers and technological transfer?
We singlehandedly trained 300 graduates on metering installation in 2020 to complement the Federal Government’s intervention in the power sector, tagged the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP). They were trained at no fee with free accommodation and feeding and after the training programme we provided them with tool bags and other incentives.
The youths were drawn from across the six geo-political zones in the country which cut across 15 states and they were nominated by their respective state governments.
We have also partnered with the North East Development Commission (NEDC) to train 200 youths drawn from across all the States in the North Eastern Region on Metering Technology, an initiative aimed at resuscitating the economy of the region.
In the same vein, we have also provided free engineering training support to the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) in order to contribute to the empowerment and encouragement of women Engineers.
Tell us about MOMASS Metering School. Specifically, we would like to know its founding ideals or objectives, when it was established, and what impact it has made as a training hub and specialized skills acquisition center.We are also interested in an analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (prospects and challenges) using the SWOT framework.
Has the school achieved its desired objectives and goals?
Part of our core ideology is youth empowerment and this is why we established the first and the only Metering School in Africa in 2018, MOMASS Metering Schoo. We sponsored the development of the curriculum on Metering technology and the National Critique Workshop through the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) which led to the eventual adoption and approval of the curriculum for tertiary institutions in the country.
In view of the landmark achievements of the Momas Metering School on youths empowerment, the school has just won the SIFA grant from the German Government, the grant is to assist in the development of the school’s permanent site.
To this end, additional courses have been added to the lists of the courses the school is running and more curriculums have been developed i. e welding and fabrication.
What are Momas Distribution Sub Station Enhancement Concepts? Is it an innovation by Momas, what does it entail? What are its impact, prospects, and impediments?
The dual power supply enhancement solution is conceptualized to push for the possibility of a 24-hour power supply downstream with migration of Substations from the old-fashioned fuse-driven to a more intelligent and efficient breaker-driven substation with an inbuilt automatic transfer switch ( ATS) installed with surveillance in line with global trends.
Using Nigeria as a case study, Nigeria has 12,500 MW of installed generation capacity, being largely dependent on hydropower and fossil (gas) thermal power sources; 12.5% and 87.5% respectively. However, it is important to note that currently only 3,500 MW to 5,000 MW is typically available for onward transmission to the final consumer.
According to projections by international observers, grid electricity demand in Nigeria is expected to increase to 12,800MW.
Additionally, grid demand will also be augmented by off-grid supply to meet consumption needs in rural areas. Off-grid electrification initiatives are gradually emerging with different generation sources and capacities, hence closing consumers’ demand gap for power supply.
Mommas as a technology-driven company introduces the Dual tariff energy system to maneuver the challenges of a power outage (downtime) in the distribution system thereby supplying 24 24-hour power supply to consumers at 415V from an alternative power supply (Independent power supply) that is an off-grid system.
Apparently, the country has not maximized its available resources downstream to provide an uninterrupted power supply to consumers. .
The Momas dual power supply enhancement solution has provided the potential to alleviate many of the problems faced in the Nigerian power sector and also gives revenue assurance to the Discos and the IPP involved.
Features of the Momas dual power supply enhancement solution includes:
Replacement of the fazed-out feeder pillar with MOMAS power enhancement panel [with in-built Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) for dual supply]
Wireless dual tariff meter switcher unit
The dual tariff metres
Reappraisal of the substation earthing system to standard
Cables termination and jointing using Pfisterer lugs and connectors
Replacement of the bad Ring Main Unit (RMU) with a new one ( for underground system with RMU)
Installation new HV DIP-FUSE and HV lightening arrestors HV gang isolator
Upriser – overhead 415 cable clearing and neatening
Beatification of the substation
Surveillance infusion with solar panel
Fencing of the substation, painting and interlocking
Filling of the substation with granite
Features Of MOMAS Dual Power Enhancement Panel:
Dual circuit to accommodate two (2) different sources of power supply
In-built Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) to select one available supply. These supplies could also be manually selected
Equipped with automatic reactive compensators to boost supply
Has a meter for each source of power supply
Can conveniently feed three (3) uprisers. Some other designs can feed more than three uprisers.
Has residual current protection circuit breakers to which each upriser is connected.
Wireless dual tariff meter switcher unit.
Your organization is said to have applications and software that could enhance customers’ data, customer services, customer call centres, and interfaces between the critical stakeholders and players in the downstream sub-sector of the Nigerian electricity supply industry including the regulatory institutions. How has this faired and what is the level of patronage and acceptance by targeted spectrum or end users?
MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) has developed a suite of applications and software designed to enhance customer data management, customer service delivery, customer call center operations, and the interaction between key stakeholders and players in the downstream sub-sector of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
These applications address the challenges of data fragmentation, inefficient customer service processes, and poor communication between stakeholders, which have hindered the effective functioning of NESI. MEMMCOL’s applications have been positively received by Distribution Companies (DISCOs), institutions, and real estate in Nigeria.
The applications have improved data accuracy and accessibility, streamlined customer service processes, enhanced communication with customers, and facilitated data sharing among stakeholders. This has led to improved customer satisfaction, reduced operational costs, and enhanced overall efficiency in the NESI.
Several DISCOs have adopted MEMMCOL’s applications, including the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC). The IEDC has reported significant improvements in customer service, reduced operational costs, and enhanced efficiency following the implementation of MEMMCOL’s applications.
MEMMCOL’s applications have proven to be valuable tools for enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the NESI. The applications are well-received by stakeholders and have demonstrated positive results in several DISCOs. MEMMCOL’s continued innovation and development of cutting-edge applications are expected to further transform the NESI and contribute to improved electricity service delivery for Nigerian consumers.
For instance, MEMMCOL’s applications like the Customer Data Management System (CDMS) provide a centralized platform for managing customer data, including meter readings, billing information, and payment records.
The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System streamlines customer service interactions, enabling efficient handling of customer inquiries, complaints, and service requests. Similarly, MEMMCOL’s Customer Call Center Management System (CCMS) is a system that optimizes call center operations, improving call handling times, reducing wait times, and enhancing customer satisfaction.
The Stakeholder Interface Platform facilitates communication and data sharing between DISCOs, institutions, real estate, and regulatory institutions.
What kind of applications has MEMMCOL developed to enhance customer data, customer services, call centers, and interfaces?
MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) has developed a range of applications and software designed to improve customer data management, customer service delivery, call center efficiency, and interfacing between various stakeholders in the Nigerian electricity sector, including regulatory institutions.
These applications have received positive feedback from various entities, including distribution companies (Discos), institutions, and real estate companies.
MEMMCOL’s customer data management system (CDMS) provides a central repository for customer information, including meter readings, payment history, and customer service records. This system helps Discos to better understand their customer base, identify areas for improvement, and target marketing campaigns more effectively.
MEMMCOL’s customer service applications enable Discos to provide self-service options, such as online bill payment and meter readings. These applications also streamline customer service interactions, improving response times and reducing customer frustration.
Similarly, MEMMCOL’s call center applications provide Discos with a robust platform for handling customer inquiries and resolving issues. These applications help to ensure that customers receive efficient and timely assistance.
On the Interfaces with stakeholders, MEMMCOL’s software also facilitates communication and collaboration between Discos, regulatory institutions, and other stakeholders in the electricity sector. This includes the sharing of data, the coordination of activities, and the resolution of disputes.
MEMMCOL’s applications have been well-received by various entities in the Nigerian electricity sector. Distribution companies such as Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) have implemented MEMMCOL’s software to enhance their operations. Real estate companies have also adopted MEMMCOL’s applications to manage their tenant billing and meter reading processes.
Overall, MEMMCOL’s applications have played a significant role in improving customer service, reducing operational costs, and enhancing the overall efficiency of the Nigerian electricity sector. The company is committed to developing innovative solutions that meet the needs of its customers and contribute to the advancement of the power sector.
How would you appraise MOMAS applications and software in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry?
MOMAS Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited (MEMMCOL) has developed various applications and software aimed at enhancing customer data management, customer services, customer call centers, and interfaces between stakeholders in the downstream sub-sector of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI). These applications hold the potential to revolutionize customer experience and operational efficiency within the NESI.
MEMMCOL’s applications have significantly improved the collection, storage, and analysis of customer data. This centralized platform provides distribution companies (Discos) with a comprehensive overview of customer information, including meter readings, payment history, and service complaints. This data-driven approach enables Discos to personalize customer interactions, tailor offerings, and proactively address potential issues.
MEMMCOL’s customer service software has streamlined complaint handling and resolution processes. Customers can now submit and track complaints online, receive prompt updates, and access self-service options for common inquiries. This enhanced customer experience has contributed to improved customer satisfaction and reduced reliance on traditional call centers.
MEMMCOL’s call center solutions have revolutionized customer interactions, providing Discos with a centralized, intelligent platform for managing call volumes, routing inquiries, and resolving customer issues. AI-powered chatbots and automated responses handle routine inquiries, while skilled call agents handle complex issues efficiently. This has resulted in shorter wait times, improved first-call resolution rates, and reduced customer frustration.
The applications have fostered seamless communication and collaboration among stakeholders in the NESI. Discos can now interact with regulatory institutions, meter suppliers, and other industry players through secure, integrated platforms. This has enhanced transparency, facilitated dispute resolution, and promoted collaborative decision-making.
MEMMCOL’s applications and software have gained significant patronage and acceptance among Discos, institutions, and real estate in Nigeria. Several Discos, including Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IEDC), have adopted MEMMCOL’s solutions, recognizing their positive impact on customer experience, operational efficiency, and industry collaboration.
Therefore, MEMMCOL’s applications and software have demonstrated a remarkable ability to transform the NESI by enhancing customer data management, customer services, customer call centers, and stakeholder interactions.
Their adoption has improved customer satisfaction, reduced operational costs, and fostered a more efficient and responsive electricity sector in Nigeria. As the NESI continues to evolve, MEMMCOL’s innovative solutions are poised to play an even more critical role in shaping the future of electricity distribution and customer experience in Nigeria.
What would you like the government to do differently to change the narratives in terms of upscaling energy security, and energy access as an instrument of growth and development?
To enhance energy security and promote access as a tool for growth and development, governments can implement the following strategies:
Investment in renewable energy would encourage the development and utilization of renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal power. Provide incentives for renewable energy projects to attract investments and accelerate their deployment.
Invest in research and development of new renewable energy technologies to increase efficiency and reduce costs, making renewable energy more accessible and widespread.
Enforce energy efficiency standards for appliances, buildings, and industries. Promote energy-efficiency practices in both the public and private sectors to reduce energy consumption.
Raise awareness about the importance of energy conservation through public campaigns, education programs, and incentives for energy-efficiency practices.
Invest in the expansion and modernization of the energy grid to minimize transmission and distribution losses. Smart grid technologies can enhance grid reliability and efficiency.
Focus on electrifying rural and remote areas by investing in decentralized renewable energy solutions. This can significantly improve living standards and support economic development in these regions.
Provide stable and transparent policies that encourage long-term investments in the energy sector. Uncertainty in policies can deter investors.
Encourage competition in the energy market to drive innovation, reduce costs, and improve service quality for consumers.
Foster partnerships with private companies to leverage their expertise and resources in expanding energy access. PPPs can accelerate the development of energy infrastructure and services.
Incentives for private investments: Provide tax incentives, subsidies, and other financial support mechanisms to attract private investments in energy projects, especially in underserved areas.
Invest in education and training programs to develop a skilled workforce in the energy sector. A skilled workforce is essential for the efficient operation and maintenance of energy infrastructure.
Support entrepreneurship in the renewable energy sector. Encourage the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) involved in renewable energy technologies.
Work with international organizations and neighboring countries to share best practices, technology, and resources. Collaborative efforts can lead to more innovative solutions and funding opportunities.
Use data analytics to make informed decisions about energy planning, demand forecasting, and resource allocation. Data-driven insights can optimize energy distribution and promote efficient energy use.
By implementing these strategies and fostering a conducive environment for investment and innovation, governments can significantly enhance energy security, expand energy access, and use energy as a catalyst for sustainable growth and development.
Additionally, ensuring these initiatives are inclusive and prioritize the needs of vulnerable and marginalized communities is crucial for creating a more equitable energy landscape.
How can grid automation,Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition),SCADA system, and deployment Of Gis / Gps enhance grid security and stem the tide vandaliazation of critical national power grid infrastructure?
Grid Automation, SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems and the deployment of GIS/GPS technology play a crucial role in enhancing grid security and mitigating the vandalization of critical national power grid infrastructure.
Below is how these technologies contribute to improving grid security:
Real-time Monitoring and Control (SCADA Systems):
SCADA systems provide real-time monitoring and control of grid operations. They allow operators to monitor the grid’s performance, detect anomalies, and respond to incidents promptly. By having a centralized view of the entire grid, operators can identify unusual patterns or unauthorized access, enabling quick response to potential threats or acts of vandalism.
Grid Automation involves the use of advanced control systems and equipment to automate the distribution and management of electricity. Automation reduces the need for human intervention in routine tasks, minimizing the potential points of vulnerability. Automated systems can quickly isolate faulty sections, reroute power, and restore services, making it difficult for vandals to disrupt the entire grid.
Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies provide accurate mapping and location-based data. By integrating GIS/GPS with grid infrastructure, authorities can monitor the physical layout of power lines, substations, and other critical components. This detailed mapping helps in identifying vulnerable areas, assessing risks, and implementing targeted security measures. GPS technology can also be used to track the movement of maintenance crews and quickly identify unauthorized access.
Data Analytics and Predictive Maintenance:
Advanced analytics can process vast amounts of data from grid operations. By analyzing this data, utilities can identify patterns that indicate potential security threats or areas prone to vandalism. Predictive maintenance techniques can anticipate equipment failures, reducing the likelihood of unexpected outages caused by vandalism.
Grid Automation and SCADA systems are connected to communication networks, making them susceptible to cyber threats. Implementing robust cyber-security measures, such as firewalls, encryption, and regular security audits, is essential to protect these systems from unauthorized access and cyber-attacks.
Public Awareness and Community Engagement:
Educating the public and engaging with local communities can create a sense of ownership and responsibility. When people understand the importance of the power grid and its vulnerability to vandalism, they are more likely to report suspicious activities, deterring potential vandals.
Legal Deterrents and Penalties:
Enforcing strict laws and penalties for grid vandalism acts as a deterrent. Harsh legal consequences can dissuade individuals from attempting to damage or sabotage critical infrastructure.
In summary, the integration of Grid Automation, SCADA systems, GIS/GPS technology, data analytics, cyber-security measures, public awareness, and legal deterrents creates a multi-layered approach to enhance grid security. By investing in these technologies and strategies, authorities can significantly reduce the risk of vandalism and ensure the reliable operation of the national power grid infrastructure.
There have been hues and cries about meter upgrading to STS And TID, what is this all about?
The benefits and challenges of meter upgrading for STS (Standard Transfer Specification) and TID (Token Identifier Rollover) refers to the process of enhancing the functionalities of electricity meters to comply with the latest industry standards and technological advancements.
The Token Identifier is a 24-bit field, contained in STS compliant tokens, that identifies the date and time of the token generation. It is used to determine if a token has already been used in a payment meter. The TID represents the minutes elapsed since the 1st of January 1993. The incrementing of the 24-bit field means that at some point in time, the TID value will roll over to a zero value.
All STS prepayment meters will be affected by TID rollover on 24/11/2024. Any tokens generated after this date and utilizing the 24-bit TID will be rejected by the meters as being old tokens as the TID value embedded in the token will have reset back to 0.
In order to overcome this problem, all meters will require key change tokens with the rollover bit set. In addition to this, the base date of 01/01/1993 will be required to be changed to a later date. This process will force the meters to reset the TID stack to 0.
To avoid previously played tokens from being accepted by the meter due to the TID stack reset, the key change process must introduce into the meter, a new decoder key. A process is therefore required to allow for the management of this change with the least impact on the utilities and equipment suppliers.
Benefits of Meter Upgrading
In order to overcome this problem,all meters will require key change tokens with the rollover bit set. In addition to this, the base date of 01/01/1993 will be required to be changed to a later date. This process will force the meters to reset the TID stack to 0. To avoid previously played tokens from being accepted by the meter due to the TID stack reset, the key change process must introduce into the meter, a new decoder key. A process is therefore required to allow for the management of this change with the least impact on the Utilities and equipment suppliers.
Challenges of Meter Upgrading
It costs money: Upgrading meters firmware isn’t cheap, but it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.
It’s a big job: There are a lot of meters out there, so upgrading them all will take some time and effort.
Logistics: Upgrading meters takes time and coordination. Electricity providers, installers, and consumers all need to work together to make sure the process goes smoothly.
How do you think the introduction of modern technology can enhance returns on investment, improve cost recovery, collection efficiencies, billing efficiencies, revenue optimization, and general efficiency, and change the narratives of the sector’s liquidity crises?
Think of the Nigerian electricity grid as a big, complex machine. Just like any machine, it needs regular maintenance and updates to keep it running smoothly. That’s where modern technology comes in.
Get real-time data: These new meters can tell you how much energy each customer is using, in real-time. This data can help you identify energy-wasting customers and target them with energy conservation programs.
Automate tasks: There are a lot of tasks in the electricity sector that can be automated, such as billing and customer service. This can free up your employees to focus on more important things.
Develop new services: With all this new data, you can develop new services for your customers, such as time-of-use pricing and demand response programs.
Smart meters: These clever meters keep track of your energy consumption in real-time. This data can be used to improve billing accuracy, identify energy-saving opportunities, and optimize grid operations.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI): Think of AMI as the brain of the smart meter network. It collects and manages data from all the smart meters, which helps to improve grid efficiency, reduce losses, and support new services such as demand response programs.
Data analytics: Data is the new gold, and the Nigerian electricity sector is sitting on a treasure trove of it. Data analytics can be used to identify trends in energy consumption, improve customer segmentation, and develop targeted marketing campaign.